Orchard Community Playgroup, Ballykelly and Rosemount Nursery School, Derry have had a number of shared sessions together this year.
They have been visiting each other’s settings and engaging in football training facilitated by a coach from Maiden City Soccer. The leaders from the two settings have been grateful for the support from their parents, particularly their involvement helping out during the shared lessons.
Cathy Campbell, teacher at Rosemount Nursery said “This year we are focusing on the physical development of our children, alongside other benefits of our shared education programme. I feel our sessions highlight the fact that our children will interact and engage naturally, especially in a familiar environment”.
The Sharing From The Start initiative which involves over 2400 children is supported by the European Union’s Peace IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. It involves early years settings throughout Northern Ireland and the Southern Border counties forming cross-community partnerships, and the children taking part in joint curricular classes, improving educational outcomes and promoting good relations.
Sharing From The Start is administered by Early Years working in collaboration with the National Childhood Network and the Fermanagh Trust. Together these three organisations have a strong track record of working for the benefit of children and good relations development. Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Department of Education in Northern Ireland and the Department of Education and Skills Ireland.